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BREA, CA-The Abbey Co. has expanded its Orange County presence with the acquisition of two business parks in Brea totaling nearly 288,000 sf. The properties are the 168,890-sf Brea Park Centre and the 118,818-sf Brea Corporate Plaza.

Brian Mericle, director of acquisitions for Abbey, describes the newly acquired assets as a class B value-added play. The Brea Park Centre consists of three three-story buildings that sit near the major intersection of Kraemer Boulevard and East Imperial Highway, while the three-story Brea Corporate Plaza occupies a site on East Imperial Highway. Both projects are approximately 86% occupied.

Mericle says that the Abbey Co. will invest $1.5 million in the new properties and will look to its in-house asset management team to oversee and carry out the improvements and upgrades to the projects. The company will also focus on leasing up current vacancies as well as bringing in-place rents to current market value upon lease expiration.

Mericle says that Abbey found the two projects appealing as investments because both have performed well historically and because the North Orange County office market is extremely tight.

Both properties are occupied by a diverse mix of tenants including government entities, financial services firms and anchor tenants like New York Life Insurance and GE. Suites range in size from 1,000 sf to 20,000 sf.

Mericle points out that the already strong Brea market stands to gain more demand when projects like the 119-acre La Floresta Village residential development along East Imperial Highway are completed over the next few years. He cites other developments completed in recent years that include the City of Brea’s redevelopment of the Birch Street Promenade, a retail, dining and entertainment district.

Abbey’s acquisitions of the two Brea assets were brokered by the CB Richard Ellis team of Michael Kane and Bob Smith in CBRE’s Newport Beach office. Abbey chief investment officer Michael Jenkins, Mericle and due diligence coordinator Jim Antonio worked on the deal internally.

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